Auditory Processing Disorder

Do you ever feel that your child hears you, but just doesn’t always understand you? Does your child struggle with reading?  Does too much information frustrate your child?

This could be caused by Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), also known as Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD).

So what is it?  APD is a a condition where the child can’t process what they hear the same way other kids do.  They just can’t process the information fast enough because their ears and brain are not coordinating fully.  Something is disrupting the way the brain receives and interprets sounds, especially speech.


So what are the signs?  Signs vary, especially by age, but the main signs are:

  • Seems to hear, but not listen
  • Gets tripped up by words
  • Doesn’t like being read to
  • Can’t stand the noise
  • Isn’t interested in books
  • Keeps forgetting things
  • Poor conversation skills

So now what?  Depending on the age of your child, first seek out your child’s teacher and share your concerns.  The speech therapist in your school district can conduct a few tests to see if an outside evaluation is warranted.  This happened with my son.  I felt he had this condition for years and I finally pushed for further testing.  I brought him to an outside speech and hearing center (which was paid by the school district) and it was confirmed that he had APD.  A secondary disability was added to his IEP at school.  He now gets more accommodations at school and will begin to use an assistive listening device during instruction.

At home, we try to speak clearly, slowly, and in short, simple sentences.  We keep instructions relatively short.  We use a lot of visuals and write tasks on a white board.  We try out different listening/board games at home.  We also give him more time to comprehend our message.  We never expect an immediate response because we now know his decoding and understand takes longer.

Do you have someone in your family that has APD?  What do you do at home to help? I’d love to hear your ideas!!


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